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Trent University Community Responds to Devastation in Asia

In response to the devastation and relief efforts following the December 26 tsunami, Trent University students, faculty and staff have initiated a number of activities:

1) Memorial Service

Members of the Trent University community attended a memorial service to remember the victims of the disaster in southeast Asia. This special service, organized by the Religious Affairs Committee and the Office of the Chaplain took place on Thursday, January 13 at 10 am at the Great Hall, Champlain College.

2) A special World Affairs Colloquium, January 14, 2005 3 - 5 p.m. in the Lady Eaton Lecture Hall

"Grief, Relief and Sustainable Development: the Trent Community Responds to the Southeast Asia Disaster"

The colloquium will be an opportunity for people from all corners of the Trent community to come together to discuss responses to the earthquake and tsunami that took the lives of as many as 200,000 people, and left upwards of 5 million people homeless.

Panel Speakers will include:

Brian Nichols, Psychotherapist/Specialist in Grief and Trauma Counselling, Hospice Peterborough
Professor Derek Hall, International Development Studies Program
Trent Students from affected countries
Representatives from Aid agencies

Many people across the Trent community have expressed a desire to help those affected by the crisis. The colloquium will provide an opportunity to learn more about and discuss how best members of the Trent community might offer help. It will also be an opportunity for student groups, clubs, and organizations to report on fundraising/relief activities they have or plan to undertake. (If you can't come to the colloquium, but you would like to have your group's efforts included in a census of Trent relief efforts, please e-mail your information to tip@trentu.ca).

The Trent International Program invites campus groups to contact them if they would like to participate in or contribute to our effort to support a sustainable development project in a focussed way.

In order to add to the world's outpouring of support for people in an affected region in a meaningful way, Professor Mike Allcott, TIP Director, would like to see Trent as a community make a significant contribution to the World University Service of Canada's project in Sri Lanka.

WUSC has been educating women and young people in Sri Lanka since 1989, in an effort to develop the country's knowledge and expertise in carpentry, masonry, welding and other building skills that will be crucial to its recovery. WUSC Executive Director Paul Davidson, a Trent Alumnus, is calling on Canadian University campuses to, in tandem with supporting emergency relief operations, put their considered energies behind long-term projects like WUSC's.

Paul says, "Our team was working on immediate relief within an hour of the Tsunami, and we will be there long after others have had to move on. Our teams transported the injured, helped remove dead bodies, and then to deliver food, water, medicine and other essentials." Because of trustful relationships built over a long period, WUSC was the first agency to be able to deliver emergency supplies to both Tamil and Singhalese areas of the country. In the next week, according to Paul, "WUSC will be reprofiling our programs to provide training opportunities on-the-site of schools and other essential infrastructure" to ensure that Sri Lankans will have the wherewithal to look to their future.

To donate online or to learn more about WUSC's efforts in Sri Lanka, visit http://www.wusc.ca/welcome. Donations made until January 11 are eligible to be claimed on 2004 Canadian income tax returns, and the federal government will match contributions to recognized aid agencies, including WUSC. To donate in-person visit the TIP Office in 302 CC; to contact us by telephone 748.1314 or tip@trentu.ca.

The World Affairs Colloquium is sponsored by the Trent International Program and the Trent International Students' Association.

3) Red Cross Fundraising

In partnership with the Peterborough Branch of the Canadian Red Cross, Trent University's student Red Cross Society is collecting donations from students, staff, faculty and visitors to the campus. Fifteen donation boxes have been distributed on the Symons Campus and are expected to be in place until the end of next week.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to provide their financial support through a donation.

4) Faculty Experts Available to Media

The Communications Office has assembled a list of Trent faculty with expertise in specific areas who are available to speak to the media on issues relating to the tsunami. This list is evolving and currently covers topics such as : water quality issues; international economy – debt forgiveness; food; history of southeast Asia; Trent's International Program (TIP).

Media are requested to contact the Communications Office at 748-1011, ext. 1224.

5) Other N.G.O.'s seeking support

The following non-government organizations are among those collecting donations to help survivors of the December 26 tsunami.

Trent University does not endorse any groups and provides this contact list for your information only. Donors should contact the organizations directly for information on how funds are distributed.

The federal government has said that it will match donations made by individual Canadians to Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) already involved in responding to the disaster.

The top section of the list is of the NGOs that have thus far been approved.

Canadian Red Cross
745-8222 or 1-800-418-1111

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace

Canadian Relief Organization for Peace in Sri Lanka

CARE Canada

Foster Parents Plan

Médecins Sans Frontières
1-800 982-7903

Oxfam Canada

Asian Earthquake/Floods Relief, Oxfam Canada
200-215 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

Save the Children Canada
1-800-668-5036 or 416-221-5501
4141 Yonge Street, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M2P 2A8

2200 Yonge St., Suite 1100
Toronto, ON M4S 2C6

World Vision Canada

Other organizations accepting money for tsunami aid (in alphabetical order).

ACT: Action by Churches Together
Donations can be made through local member churches

Canadian Food for the Hungry International

Canadian Lutheran World Relief

Canadian Tamil Congress

Christian Children's Fund

Hope International Development Agency

Human Concern International (HCI)

Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa
Tsunami relief fund

ICNA Relief

Mennonite Central Committee

Salvation Army
Donation line: 1-800-725-2769
Or drop in to their office at 219 Simcoe Street

SOS Children's Villages

Unitarian Service Committee Canada

The United Church of Canada

Photo 1: Waves wash through houses at Maddampegama, about 60 kilometers south of Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Photo 2: Indonesia: Indonesian Navy sailors in Jakarta load donated relief supplies onto a navy cargo ship. Government officials expressed concerns that aid was not reaching the quake-devastated city of Banda Aceh fast enough. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)

Photo 3: Sri Lanka: A boy stands next to a Red Cross truck at refugee camp near the coastal city of Galle. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Posted January 7, 2005

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